Enhancing relations between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean – that’s what is at the heart of the EU-LAC Foundation’s mission. The Foundation was established in 2010 at the sixth EU-LAC Summit.
A special way of creating an international organisation
To enable it to become operational as quickly as possible, the EU-LAC Foundation was initially constituted as a foundation under German law. This was, however, never intended as a permanent solution. The foundation was always meant to become an international organisation. The Agreement establishing the EU-LAC International Foundation was signed on 25 October 2016, and now, one year later, it has been ratified by Germany. The EU-LAC Foundation will become the EU-LAC International Foundation once eight signatories from each of the two regions, including the EU and Germany as host country, have deposited their instruments of ratification with the Council of the European Union.
Natural partners on key issues for the future
“Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe are natural partners on key issues for the future, such as climate protection, the sustainable exploitation of resources and free trade,” stated Marian Schuegraf, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Federal Foreign Office. “We are delighted that, with the establishment of the EU-LAC International Foundation, this partnership will be further enhanced, especially between civil society in our regions.”
Civil society cooperation constitutes a key element of the Foundation’s work. The international organisation will focus on a broad range of issues, including sustainability, democracy, and how universities can be got into shape for the 21st century. The Foundation will be financed by means of voluntary contributions from the European Commission, European and Latin American states, foundations, development banks and the private sector. Germany’s contribution will come from the Federal Foreign Office and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.
A dynamic environment
The Foundation has been based in Hamburg since 2011. The Hanseatic City provides an ideal working environment, thanks to the strong ties between stakeholders active in business, civil society and research on Latin America, as well as the long-standing ties with the region. The historic commercial metropolis on the Elbe was thus able to fend off strong competition for the honour of housing the Foundation from Madrid, Paris and Bologna.